Have you heard it?
The murmur in the background that tends to say either, ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘it is not good enough’?
Both ‘murmurings’ make it hard for us to be present, they almost suck us out of the present. The present becomes a means to and end, a means toward feeling good enough or making life good enough according to expectations.
We may not all be aware of the murmuring but once we start to pay attention we usually discover it. At times it is just in the background, almost just like an undercurrent to life.
It makes us run, reject and misuse the present using it only as a means to try to improve things. It is the sponsor of: ‘Once all the work is done, once I have saved this much money, once I have won this award, once the children have been put to bed, once it is weekend, once I get the tax done’ etc. etc. The murmuring is a driver and it makes us do and run.
The murmuring originates in fear, fear of not being good enough, fear of being rejected, fear of being lonely, fear of being ridiculed. The mind might at some stage have concluded that if we are very good, very organised, very perfect, very clever, very fit, very kind etc. then we will be ok. Problem is, the mind never considers it good enough, as it is tuned into fault finding and to the one thing that is not quite up to standard!
This mind trait can be observed when we lie in bed at night scanning the day. If we had a balanced view we would see that it was full of good and neutral events, but not the mind! It hones in on the one thing we did ‘wrong’ or didn’t get done and that becomes the theme song.
Does the murmuring serve me?
In Danish there is a saying: ‘there nothing so bad it isn’t good for something’. And so it has helped us achieve, keep a clean home, get fit, tidy up, pay our bills on time, get a promotion in other words ‘comply’. But how was the experience, how was the journey with ‘The Murmur’ on the back seat?
You can check in with that by trying this little exercise:
Think of one nice thing that happened today that you can be thankful for…. notice how you feel as you dwell on it.
Now, think of an unpleasant thing that made you sad or angry or upset or fearful…. or where you just didn’t feel good enough.
Notice how you feel as you dwell on it.
Which one made you smile? Which one made you feel uplifted? Which one made you feel heavy? Which one made you feel light?
You may have noticed the tightness and the discomfort in your body when thinking of the unpleasant thing? It is not the release of happy hormones! And what do the ‘unhappy’ chemicals do to our system? There may be only low levels of stress hormones but none the less… If I were a little cell I think I would rather have an oxitocin or serotonin bath to float around in…
The Murmur causes us to live in an undercurrent of stress which means it doesn’t take much to make the stress intense! To have outbursts of anger, sadness, little tolerance, high irritability etc.
Is a massage going to fix it? Well we will get a temporary release of pleasant hormones but then back to The Murmur waiting for us in the car …
We need to deal with the problem at the root cause – it is telling us we are not good enough because the mind is programmed to do so. It is fuelled by fear as its job is to help us survive and ensure that we have the best food while avoiding being eaten by the lion. The mind is not aware of any other aspect to you than itself! It is not aware of space, grace, presence, allowing nor saying ‘yes’ to the now. It is a limited functioning program, one dimensional! One focus; to keep you safe, healthy, strong and on top!
In the moments when I am master of my mind, know that my mind just produces thoughts that I don’t identify with, choose where I place my attention… In those moments I step beyond The Murmur. I hear it as just a murmur rather than a distant call to run, move, improve, change…
In those moments I touch freedom, bliss, abundance, presence, a wide open heart, gratitude and compassion.